China's first quarter GDP grows 7.4 pct
                 English.news.cn | 2014-04-16 10:07:34 | Editor: An

CHINA-ECONOMY-Q1 GROWTH RATE (CN)

This file photo taken on March 17, 2014 shows the production lines of carmaker BAIC Group in Huanghua, north China's Hebei Province. China's economy grew 7.4 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed on Wednesday. The NBS said that preliminary data showed the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) reached 12.8213 trillion yuan (2.08 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter. (Xinhua/Mu Yu)

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- China's economy grew 7.4 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed on Wednesday.

The NBS said that preliminary data showed the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) reached 12.8213 trillion yuan (2.08 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter.

The figures suggest growth in the world's second-largest economy in the beginning of year 2014 was stable and that the economy was generally in good health, as Chinese authorities promoted reforms, innovation, restructuring and improvement of people's well-being, according to the NBS.

The first-quarter growth exceeded market estimates of 7.3 percent.

However, it slowed compared to the 7.7-percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2013, and marked the lowest quarterly growth level since the third quarter of 2012. But even so, the figure still far outperformed the 6.6-percent growth in the first quarter of 2009, when the global financial crisis wreaked havoc.

Economists said the weaker growth suggested heavier downward pressure on the economy, but that the growth rate was still within a reasonable range.

"I predicted the first-quarter GDP growth to be between 7.2 and 7.3 percent. Though slower, I don't think this level of growth is unbearable," said Wang Jun, a senior researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Wang pointed to the significance of measures taken by authorities in March targeting tax reductions and simplification of administrative procedures, as well as their plans to step up railway investment and renovation of shanty towns.

"These measures aim to stabilize growth. I think the economic momentum will increase from the second quarter and there's no need to worry the economy will slide out of control," he said.

Other data jointly released with the GDP figures on Wednesday showed industrial output growth slowed to 8.7 percent in the first quarter.

During the same period, fixed asset investment growth gained 17.6 percent; retail sales expanded 12 percent, while the average per-capita disposable income of both urban and rural residents grew 8.6 percent year on year.

The economic slowdown came amid a generally mild inflation rate in the first quarter, with the consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, rising 2.4 percent in March.

Earlier data also showed the country's exports and imports declined 1 percent year on year to 965.88 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter while power consumption rose 5.4 percent year on year, though the March figure picked up steam and rose 7.2 percent.

Related:

China's property sales fall in Q1

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- A total of 201.11 million square meters of property was sold in the first quarter this year, down 3.8 percent year on year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday.

The fall widened from the 0.1-percent drop seen in the first two months of the year, according to NBS.  Full story

China's Q1 fixed-asset investment up 17.6 pct

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- China's urban fixed asset investment rose 17.6 percent year on year to 6.8322 trillion yuan (1.11 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday.

Investment in property development climbed 16.8 percent, retreating 2.5 percentage points from the rate seen in the first two months, the NBS said.  Full story

China's Q1 retail sales up 12 pct

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- China's retail sales grew 12 percent year on year to 6.21 trillion yuan (1.01 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday.

In March, retail sales gained 12.2 percent from the same period last year to 1.98 trillion yuan and deducting inflation, the actual growth rate was 10.8 percent, said the NBS.Full story

China's Q1 industrial value added up 8.7 pct

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- China's industrial value added expanded 8.7 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2014, official figures showed on Wednesday.

Industrial value added in March edged up by 0.81 percent from February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.Full story

Chinese incomes continue surging in Q1

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The average incomes of China's urban and rural residents continued to rise in the first quarter of 2014, revealed the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday.

The average per capita disposable income rose 11.1 percent year on year to 5,562 yuan (908.82 U.S. dollars) in the first quarter. Deducting inflation, the actual growth was 8.6 percent, according to the NBS.  Full story

China's business climate index rises in Q1

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- China's business climate index, a major gauge of the country's macroeconomic outlook, rose in the first quarter of 2014, according to data released on Wednesday.

The index stood at 128 points for the first quarter, up 3.7 points from the previous quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement. Full story

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